IT'S ONLY a matter of time before the confrontation between the world and Iran’s mullahs, with the U.S. leading the charge, sets off a catastrophic conflagration. The present stand-off is bound to change, either by the U.S. use of force to make good on its threat that a nuclear Iran is not acceptable, or by the mullahs managing to make the unacceptable an accomplished fact.
Although the main adversaries are the U.S. and Iran, much of the world has a huge stake regarding this potentially catastrophic confrontation. Israel, the Persian Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq as well as nations farther away from the region are willing and unwilling parties to this unfolding crisis. Amil Imani is located in Washington, DC, and has posted the previous two paragraphs today in the comments section of Pat Buchanan's latest essay published at HUMAN EVENTS.
The two paragraphs were originally published as part of a large, informative essay Imanian Iranian ex-pat posted on his own website in February, 2007.
But lest we forget, let's remind ourselves that before Bush invaded Iraq, we heard similar appraisals by Ahmed Chalabi and a cadre of other Iraqi ex-pats who, we now know, were only serving themselves, and no one else.
Here's a very funny piece by Wesley Prudon published by the Washington Times.
DAVY CROCKETT IS THE PATRON SAINT of every politician who ever left Washington with a bruised ego and a broken heart. When he was bounced out of Congress in 1830, Davy told the folks on the banks of the Nolichucky River in Tennessee: "I'm going to Texas, and the rest of you can go to hell."
Departing presidents have left town nursing similar sentiments but avoided saying them out loud. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, continuing their endless rassling match today in Indiana and North Carolina, could take Davy Crockett's benediction as a caution. George W. Bush surely feels like Crockett is kin, and there's the fantasy of a speech floating across the Internet that George W. could but never would deliver. But if he had only the self-discipline of his critics, this is what he might say:
"If the polls are right, more than half of you don't regard yourselves as 'my fellow Americans," so I'll cut right to the chase. I'm getting out of Dodge. Before anyone gets in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, let me assure you that no laws were broken, the Constitution is intact. I'm quitting because I'm fed up with you people. You have no interest in what's actually going on in the world. Most of you are too lazy to do your homework and figure it out.
"Let's start local. The politicians and pundits have persuaded you that the economy is in the tank. That's despite record numbers of homeowners, including record numbers of minority homeowners. Minority business ownership is at record levels, too. Our unemployment rate is as low as it ever was during the Clinton administration. The stock market has rebounded to record levels and more Americans than ever own stocks. But all you can do is whine about gasoline prices, and most of you are too dumb to realize that the price of gasoline is high because the Chinese and the Indians are driving cars now, and because Al Gore and a handful of wacko greenheads are more worried about polar bears and their beachfront property than they are about you.
"I'm tired of this 'blood for oil" crap. If I were trading blood for oil, I would have seized Iraq's oil fields a long time ago. And don't give me this 'Bush lied, people died' crap, either. I could have planted chemical weapons planted all over Iraq to be 'discovered.' Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty. The rest of the world thought Saddam Hussein had the goods, too, same as me.
"Fools don't understand that we face a unique enemy. The 'soldiers' of our new enemy, unlike our old Soviet enemies, are actually eager to die. That's OK with me, and good riddance, as long as they aren't trying to take as many of you with them as they can. But they want to kill you in the name of what I generously called 'the religion of peace' (not that I ever believed it any more than you do). You all should be grateful that the Islamists haven't killed more of us here in the United States since September 11, but you're not. That's because you've got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that.
"I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight, but most of you think 'a long and difficult fight' amounts to a single season of 'Survivor.' You won't look through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do.
"The facts are easy enough to find. They're all over the Internet, along with a lot of stuff that ain't true. You have to pay attention and sort it out, but most of you would rather watch 'American Idol'. I could say more about your idiotic belief that government, not your own wallet, is where money comes from. But it would sail right over your heads.
Self-confessed former and often radical lefty, and who isn't in one's formative wonder bread years just off the dirt farm, Sean Cumyn, is writing a book on the political and moral themes found in the work of Bob Dylan. He also runs a remarkably understated website called Right Wing Bob. Here in the Weekly Standard is a thoroughly enjoyable article penned by Cumyn. A little taste of what is surely to follow. Hacks and hatchet men on the Left are already complaining that colonial patriot and First Citizen, Tom Paine has been co-opted by the Right. And I'm sure the same reactionary outcry will be hoisted when Dylan is revealed to be of solid mind firmly set in the quintessential moral values of timeless conservatism as opposed to those often impenetrable and oscillating birth pangs of the impetuous Left.
Mr. Cumyn writes:
A good deal of hoopla greeted the grizzled rock-musician Neil Young's musical assault on George W. Bush earlier this year. His album Living With War included a hundred-voice choir singing a song entitled "Let's Impeach the President." For those survivors of anti-Vietnam war protests, and their younger would-be imitators, it was a moment for a sharp intake of breath and the tantalizing hope that maybe now, after all, music really could change the world. I mean, everyone has to sit up and take notice of Neil Young, right?
Young's crusading album included another song called "Flags of Freedom," in which he gave a name-check to Bob Dylan, and adapted the melody of Dylan's own somewhat more lyrically complex song "Chimes of Freedom."
He really should have known better. In an interview several months later with Edna Gundersen in USA Today, Dylan was asked about the absence of any song about the current war on his own latest album, Modern Times.
"Didn't Neil Young do that?" he jokes . . . "What's funny about the Neil record, when I heard 'Let's Impeach the President,' I thought it was something old that had been lying around. I said, 'That's crazy, he's doing a song about Clinton?'"
With his sly and somewhat wicked response, Dylan had (1) desperately frustrated the considerable number of more obvious Dylan fans who have been waiting on the edge of a cliff for him to say or sing somethinganything!against President Bush and the Iraq war and (2) told Neil Young none-too-subtly that he found his recent ultrapolitical songwriting essentially pointless.
Somehow, after over 40 years of evidence to the contrary, much of the world seems to continue to expect the man who is arguably America's greatest songwriter to sign on to left/liberal causes at the first opportunity. If nothing else, it is proof that in attempting to kidnap Dylan's songs (in Dylan's own words, his songs were "subverted into polemics" in the 1960s), the left succeeded in convincing the average person that both the work and the man did, indeed, belong to them.
In the summer run-up to the 2004 presidential campaign, a concert tour of anti-Bush musicians was being organized, led by Bruce Springsteen. They would perform in swing states in support of John Kerry. The advance press regarding the tour always prominently mentioned Bob Dylan as one of the musicians being talked about for the lineup. There was no surprise about this expressed in the stories; after all, campaigning against Republican presidents is what Bob Dylan has always done, isn't it? But when dates and lineups were finally announced for the "Vote for Change" tour, one name was prominently missing: that of Bob Dylan.
And indeed, any scrutiny of the record would show that he has never endorsed a political candidate (although some political candidates have endorsed him). The closest he has ever come would be the statement in his memoir, Chronicles, that his "favorite politician" circa 1961 was Barry Goldwater.
MOSCOWStock up on fur coats and felt boots! This is my paradoxical advice to the warm world. The Global Iceman Cometh! Earth is now at the peak of one of its passing warm spells. It started in the 17th century when there was no industrial influence on the climate to speak of and no such thing as the hothouse effect. The current warming is evidently a natural process and utterly independent of hothouse gases.
The real reasons for climate changes are uneven solar radiation, terrestrial precession (that is, axis gyration), instability of oceanic currents, regular salinity fluctuations of the Arctic Ocean surface waters, etc. There is another, principal reasonsolar activity and luminosity. The greater they are the warmer is our climate.
Astrophysics knows two solar activity cycles, of 11 and 200 years. Both are caused by changes in the radius and area of the irradiating solar surface. The latest data, obtained by Habibullah Abdusamatov, head of the Pulkovo Observatory space research laboratory, say that Earth has passed the peak of its warmer period, and a fairly cold spell will set in quite soon, by 2012. Real cold will come when solar activity reaches its minimum, by 2041, and will last for 50-60 years or even longer.
This is my point, which environmentalists hotly dispute as they cling to the hothouse theory. As we know, hothouse gases, in particular, nitrogen peroxide, warm up the atmosphere by keeping heat close to the ground. Advanced in the late 19th century by Svante A. Arrhenius, a Swedish physical chemist and Nobel Prize winner, this theory is taken for granted to this day and has not undergone any serious check.
It determines decisions and instruments of major international organizationsin particular, the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Signed by 150 countries, it exemplifies the impact of scientific delusion on big politics and economics. The authors and enthusiasts of the Kyoto Protocol based their assumptions on an erroneous idea. As a result, developed countries waste huge amounts of money to fight industrial pollution of the atmosphere. What if it is a Don Quixote’s duel with the windmill?
Hothouse gases may not be to blame for global warming. At any rate, there is no scientific evidence to their guilt. The classic hothouse effect scenario is too simple to be true. As things really are, much more sophisticated processes are on in the atmosphere, especially in its dense layer. For instance, heat is not so much radiated in space as carried by air currentsan entirely different mechanism, which cannot cause global warming.
The temperature of the troposphere, the lowest and densest portion of the atmosphere, does not depend on the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions—a point proved theoretically and empirically. True, probes of Antarctic ice shield, taken with bore specimens in the vicinity of the Russian research station Vostok, show that there are close links between atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and temperature changes. Here, however, we cannot be quite sure which is the cause and which the effect.
Temperature fluctuations always run somewhat ahead of carbon dioxide concentration changes. This means that warming is primary. The ocean is the greatest carbon dioxide depository, with concentrations 60-90 times larger than in the atmosphere. When the ocean’s surface warms up, it produces the “champagne effect.” Compare a foamy spurt out of a warm bottle with wine pouring smoothly when served properly cold.
Likewise, warm ocean water exudes greater amounts of carbonic acid, which evaporates to add to industrial pollution—a factor we cannot deny. However, man-caused pollution is negligible here. If industrial pollution with carbon dioxide keeps at its present-day 5-7 billion metric tons a year, it will not change global temperatures up to the year 2100. The change will be too small for humans to feel even if the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions doubles.
Carbon dioxide cannot be bad for the climate. On the contrary, it is food for plants, and so is beneficial to life on Earth. Bearing out this point was the Green Revolution—the phenomenal global increase in farm yields in the mid-20th century. Numerous experiments also prove a direct proportion between harvest and carbon dioxide concentration in the air.
Carbon dioxide has quite a different pernicious influence—not on the climate but on synoptic activity. It absorbs infrared radiation. When tropospheric air is warm enough for complete absorption, radiation energy passes into gas fluctuations. Gas expands and dissolves to send warm air up to the stratosphere, where it clashes with cold currents coming down. With no noticeable temperature changes, synoptic activity skyrockets to whip up cyclones and anticyclones. Hence we get hurricanes, storms, tornados and other natural disasters, whose intensity largely depends on carbon dioxide concentration. In this sense, reducing its concentration in the air will have a positive effect.
Carbon dioxide is not to blame for global climate change. Solar activity is many times more powerful than the energy produced by the whole of humankind. Man’s influence on nature is a drop in the ocean.
Earth is unlikely to ever face a temperature disaster. Of all the planets in the solar system, only Earth has an atmosphere beneficial to life. There are many factors that account for development of life on Earth: Sun is a calm star, Earth is located an optimum distance from it, it has the Moon as a massive satellite, and many others. Earth owes its friendly climate also to dynamic feedback between biotic and atmospheric evolution.
The principal among those diverse links is Earth’s reflective power, which regulates its temperature. A warm period, as the present, increases oceanic evaporation to produce a great amount of clouds, which filter solar radiation and so bring heat down. Things take the contrary turn in a cold period.
What can’t be cured must be endured. It is wise to accept the natural course of things. We have no reason to panic about allegations that ice in the Arctic Ocean is thawing rapidly and will soon vanish altogether. As it really is, scientists say the Arctic and Antarctic ice shields are growing. Physical and mathematical calculations predict a new Ice Age. It will come in 100,000 years, at the earliest, and will be much worse than the previous. Europe will be ice-bound, with glaciers reaching south of Moscow.
Meanwhile, Europeans can rest assured. The Gulf Stream will change its course only if some evil magic robs it of power to reach the northbut Mother Nature is unlikely to do that.
Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, Merited Scientist of Russia and fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, is staff researcher of the Oceanology Institute.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
Yes, the Global Iceman Cometh. Build me a snowman, Suzy Jane.
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Ron Paul has finally spoken to the issue which I have been waiting to hear him speak. While I am in absolute awe of his strict constitutionalism, and wish him the best of luck in turning this country back to its original path, I realize geo-political concerns are vastly different in this global supersonic nuclear age, and America's future cannot be resolved without recognizing this more complicated set of affairs. This is not the steam engine era. But with Prof. Paul's recent comments about Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, the slavery issue, and now the Islamic problem, I know I cannot wholeheartedly support this man's candidacy, despite the vapors of wishful thinking of which I may occasionally succumb in a fit of inconvenient nostalgia for the patriotism I was taught in my fifth grade civics class and confirmed in the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 219. The argument that had America stuck to the constitution in the first place, the world and the States would be a very different place, has no worthwhile rebuttal. However, that hallowed place is not where we find ourselves today.
Paul repeats several tired misconceptions about the nature of contemporary Islamic agitation and jihad, blaming the West again despite evidence that this aggression is being accelerated all over the globe and into areas which have nothing to do with American bases, forces, pop culture, morality, or lack of it. It has everything to do with the prime directive of Mohammed to go forth when possible and dominate the earth, giving it over to Allah worship. Muslim leadership sees this time of global crisis amid their own oil wealth as Allah's sign to them to push jihad into all lands of the kaffir. It's that simple, folks.
Another fissure in Paul's flimsy "occupied holy land" construct is that rapidly after 9/11, the US completed a withdrawal from Saudi Arabi, yet today we learn that this terror spewing nation remains one of the major exporters of murderous Jihadis.
Fact: The United States leaves the "holy" trash heap of Saudi Arabia, and the Jihad impulse remains intact and even amplified.
Fact: Leave Gaza, and the bombs and exterminationist rhetoric only elevates, as exemplified here.
Fact: Exterminate Israel, and the work of the pious Muslims is not yet complete.
We are left with the realization that if one comprehends the true nature of expansionist triumphalist fascist Islam, one would must also understand instantly that such Islamic victories would only whet Muslim lust for more booty, more murder, and more territory for the imperialist nightmare of Islam.
An argument can and should be made that today there are more Muslims than ever supporting UBL and al-Qaeda, or offshoots of al-Qaeda. Rather than blaming our actions and our policies, (or our inactions for that matter) for this reality, as many Westerners (and ALL Muslims) do, it's much simpler to explain it as something intrinsic within the infinite hideousness of Islam. Murderous, expansionist, terroristic Jihad is a creed deeply entrenched within Islam. Hatred of non-Muslims is intrinsic. Lust for booty and war too. These, and many other evil and vile strands are in the very weft of Islam, inseparable from it.
These evils are the monster which bin Laden brilliantly awoke and vexed back to full consciousness after centuries of relative dormancy. It is ALL Islam...
Most of us here in the Mid-Atlantic states are feeling the cold whipping winds of winter roar in today, so to warms ourselves let's turn to an inspring piece of video homage to CS Lewis from a fellow named John-Michael, while I sit here in my easy chair unable to pull myself together enough to get to the studio to paint.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Peace at any price had deep roots in 1930s Britain. Roots fertilized by the blood of almost one million Empire soldiers on Flanders's muddy fields. About ten years ago I told an old family friend that I was taking my dad, a Korean war vet, to see the newly opened Korean war memorial in Washington. My friend started crying. I asked her what was wrong. She replied that her brother had been killed in Korea. I was stunned. I never knew she had a brother much less that he had died in the defense of our country.
I mention this little tableau because today it is obligatory to say that the death of one American solider is a tragedy, as if this terrible truth should not be obvious to any sentient being. Winston Churchill’s great strength was that he was prepared to lead the ‘English Speaking People’ to the greater and even more terrible truth that war is not the ugliest of things.
A “Winston Churchill” today would have the courage to name the theology that drives our enemies. He would have the courage to confront the adherents of this theology at home and abroad. He would lead a free people to understand that the creed of their prophet Mohammad is incompatible with our individual Liberty. He would lead Americans, dare I say the English speaking people, to the truly terrible truth that we cannot suffer an Islamic polity to possess nuclear weapons. Which city do you think good Muslims will nuke first?
Tocqueville once said:
"One of the most ordinary weaknesses of the human intellect is to seek to reconcile contrary principles and to purchase peace at the expense of logic."